1 Jun 2010

Niue house demolition plans anger absentee owners

3:05 pm on 1 June 2010

Some New Zealand-based owners of houses listed for demolition by the Niue government are outraged at the plan.

The Niue government has identified about 100 houses for demolition as it moves - with the support of the New Zealand government - towards making a stronger push to develop tourism.

Taha Fasi owns two houses in Niue and he says the government has no right to demolish them without his permission.

Mr Fasi says the houses - and the land they're on - are owned by Niueans, not the government.

"I'm not a lawyer but certainly there are bound to be grounds of the owners of the house to legally challenge that as well. And there's a question of compensation. The government will need to compensate families, especially if in they are trying to do this to secure and make or beautify the place for tourism, that the government will earn a return in the long run."

Taha Fasi, a business consultant from Auckland.